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Yarmouth senior Cory Langenbach dribbles past Waynflete junior LZ Olney during the Clippers’ 55-23 victory Thursday evening. Langenbach led all scorers with 20 points.
Mike Strout photos.
More photos below.
Y- 13 15 19 8- 55
W- 5 8 8 2- 23
Y- Langenbach 9-0-20, Clark 7-2-16, D’Appolonia 4-4-12, Hattan 2-0-5, Blaschke 1-0-2
W- Brooks 5-1-11, Giguere 4-0-8, Boedecker 1-0-2, Olney 1-0-2
Y (3) Langenbach 2, Hattan 1
PORTLAND—For the first time in a long time, the Yarmouth girls’ basketball team is wearing a bulls-eye.
And the Clippers are embracing it.
Yarmouth has lived up to its contender’s billing in the early going of the 2016-17 season, splitting with two top regional foes and Thursday afternoon, the Clippers put on a clinic at Waynflete in an interclass showdown.
Yarmouth trailed for all of 65 seconds and raced to an early lead behind six quick points from senior Cory Langenbach to go ahead, 13-5, after one quarter.
Langenbach, aided by the pinpoint passing of junior point guard Sara D’Appolonia, scored nine more points in the second period as the Clippers pulled away to a 28-13 lead at halftime.
The Flyers were never able to make a run and Yarmouth, behind the inside-outside dominance of senior Alison Clark, stretched its advantage to 47-21 after three quarters and went on to a decisive 55-23 victory.
Langenbach led all scorers with 20 points, Clark added 16 and D’Appolonia had a double-double of 12 points and 10 assists as the Clippers improved to 2-1 and dropped Waynflete to 1-2 in the process.
“The girls want (expectations),” said Yarmouth coach Christina Strong. “These seniors have played together for a long time. They love the game and they’re ready to play and they’re ready to win.”
Both teams feel as if they’re on the rise and are looking for big things this winter.
Waynflete lost in the preliminary round of last year’s Class C South tournament and opened with a 38-29 home victory over Sacopee Valley and a 55-53 setback at Freeport Tuesday.
Yarmouth got to the Class B South quarterfinals last winter and lost a one-point heartbreaker to Lake Region. After opening with a 46-35 home loss to defending B South champion Gray-New Gloucester, the Clippers got in the win column Tuesday in most satisfying fashion, 28-24, at Lake Region.
Yarmouth had beaten Waynflete each of the past three seasons, including a 42-23 home decision last winter.
Thursday, the Clippers won again, thanks to a first half surge.
The Flyers scored first, when senior Annika Brooks made a free throw 18 seconds in, but Yarmouth rattled off seven straight points to take control.
First, senior Johanna Hattan buried a 3. D’Appolonia drove for a layup and after a D’Appolonia steal, she fed Langenbach for a layup and a 7-1 lead with 5:50 to play in the quarter.
D’Appolonia who played as a freshman, then took last year off to focus on soccer, has been a pleasant addition this winter.
“It’s nice to be back,” D’Appolonia said. “I missed it. I came back to a great group of girls and I feel like I haven’t missed a beat. It’s been an easy transition.”
“If this team needed one thing, it was to have a point guard and Sara has composure,” said Strong, who happens to be D’Appolonia’s mother. “She has a good right hand and left hand. She’s coming off a year of not playing. She’s still adjusting, but her court awareness is tremendous. She brings speed too, which is huge.”
Waynflete came back and got a putback from junior Lydia Giguere and a layup after a steal from junior LZ Olney, but the Cippers got the final six points of the period, as Clark scored on a putback, D’Appolonia set up Langenbach for a layup and Langenbach made another layup after a steal to make it 13-5 after eight minutes.
Langenbach had six points in the first period and would add nine in the second, as Yarmouth broke it open.
Early in the frame, off an inbounds set, D’Appolonia set up Clark for a layup. Giguere got two points back with a bank shot, but Langenbach made a layup after a steal and after a D’Appolonia steal, Langenbach rattled home a baseline jumper. Brooks made a layup off a nice pass from senior Ali Pope, but Langenbach canned a 3-pointer, then off another nice feed from D’Appolonia, Langenbach made a fastbreak layup for a commanding 24-9 lead with 3:47 to go in half.
Out of a timeout, the Flyers got a bank shot from Giguere, but D’Appolonia drove and banked home a shot. Brooks made a layup for the hosts, but with 1:20 left, off another inbounds feed from D’Appolonia, Clark hit a layup to give Yarmouth a 28-13 advantage, which carried into the break.
In the first half, the Clippers forced 12 Waynflete turnovers and got 15 points from Langenbach.
“I think we did a really good job moving the ball and anticipating on defense and getting the ball up the court really fast, especially Sara,” Langenbach said. “Sara’s awesome at moving the ball around on offense. We talked about how the gym was smaller and different, but I think we adjusted to it really well.”
“It was a little slow to start,” Strong said. “We have a transition game and Cory and Sara play very well together. They read each other well and get out and go. We capitalized on that tonight. It’s important for Cory to pull the trigger early. They pressed us right away and we had trouble adjusting. Once we did, we got the ball in Cory’s hands. We swung the ball and found her open and she made things happen.”
In the third quarter, Yarmouth broke it open even further.
D’Appolonia opened the half with a free throw, Hattan hit a baseline jumper, D’Appolonia set up Langenbach for a layup and D’Appolonia made two foul shots for a 36-13 lead.
After Brooks scored on a putback, Langenbach made a 3 for her final basket.
Brooks countered with a leaner, but Clark made two free throws. After Flyers sophomore Emi Boedeker scored on a putback, then set up Giguere for a layup, Clark hit a jumper, D’Appolonia made a layup after a steal and late in the frame, sophomore Clementine Blaschke scored on a putback for a 47-21 advantage heading for the final quarter.
D’Appolonia started the fourth with a driving layup and Clark added a baseline jumper.
“Our guards moved the ball around well in the second half,” Clark said. “We swung it and I got the ball in good spots.”
“Alison is really working on the stop-and-pop,” Strong said. “She has a really nice touch. Teams prepare for her inside, so when she can pull up for a shot, that’s big.”
After Brooks scored on a putback for Waynflete’s final points, D’Appolonia set up Clark for a layup and with 2:21 to go, Clark scored on a putback for the game’s final points as Yarmouth went on to a 55-23 victory.
Langenbach finished with 20 points and added four rebounds and three steals.
Clark scored 16 points, with 10 coming in the second half. She also had six rebounds, four steals and blocked two shots.
D’Appolonia added 12 points, 10 assists, five steals and three rebounds.
Hattan had five points and Blaschke had two (to go with eight boards and three steals). Sophomore Ceanne Lyon didn’t score, but she did grab five rebounds.
The Clippers had a 32-29 rebounding advantage, with 13 coming on the offensive glass.
“We’ve focused a lot on boxing out this year because we know we can get those second shots,” Clark said.
“We recognize we have an advantage this year with height,” Strong said. “It’ll help our transition game if we can secure defensive boards. One of our focuses is boxing out.”
Yarmouth overcame 14 turnovers and made all six of its free throws.
Waynflete was paced by Brooks, who also had a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds. Giguere had eight points and Boedeker and Olney each added two points.
The Flyers committed 23 turnovers and made just 1 of 7 foul shots.
“(Yarmouth’s) very good,” said Waynflete coach Mike Jefferds. “They’re well coached. They have kids who can hit outside shots and they have very good post players. We did do a decent job denying the post. We’ve had some tough games to start the season with. We just didn’t have our legs tonight.”
Waynflete plays two more games in the calendar year. Thursday, the Flyers have to go to Lake Region and Tuesday, they visit North Yarmouth Academy.
“It’s a tough schedule, but it’ll make us stronger for the rest of the season,” Jefferds said. “We’ll battle through. It’s a good group.”
Yarmouth hopes to stay hot Saturday, but it won’t be easy, as the Clippers go to Class A South favorite Greely. Yarmouth closes the year with a trip to Maranacook Tuesday and a home tilt versus Sacopee Valley Thursday.
The Clippers aren’t there yet, but they are showing a lot of promise.
“We haven’t beaten Greely in so many years, but this is the best team we’ve had and we feel really good about Saturday’s game and this season,” Clark said.
“We’re taking it game by game, but we’re really excited about what we can do,” Langenbach said.
“I think we’re definitely more experienced than we’ve been in the past and I think that will benefit us,” D’Appolonia said. “We have good younger players coming in and they’re a great addition to the team.”We’ve been focusing on movement on offense. I think our defense is strong. It’s just a matter of taking more shots and finishing them. I think we’ll have a really good season.”
“We have to work on our halfcourt execution,” Strong added. “It’s still not where I want it to be. We’re not moving the ball as fast as I’d like. If the ball gets into Alison, it’ll open up our outside game more. We’re still working on that. I do like what I have to work with. It’s fun.”
Waynflete junior Lydia Giguere goes up for a shot while Yarmouth sophomore Clementine Blaschke defends.
Yarmouth junior Sara D’Appolonia sends a pass past Waynflete sophomore Emi Boedeker. D’Appolonia finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 assists.
Waynflete senior Ali Pope goes up for a shot.
Yarmouth sophomore Clementine Blaschke shoots as Waynflete junior Izzy Burdick defends.
Yarmouth senior Alison Clark shoots over Waynflete sophomore Emi Boedeker.
Waynflete senior Annika Brooks goes up for a shot as Yarmouth senior Johanna Hattan, left, and sophomore Clementine Blaschke defend.